Brexit is indeed a muddle and a mess. The British frog is indeed being boiled. Brexit probably always was/is more binary than both sides have properly allowed. /2
Sep 23, 2018 • 5 tweets • 2 min read
These divisions were always over-reported and over-spun by No-10. Yes, some say different but in 27 context (viz Orban last week) they don’t. And drill down with their dips on how far they really support splitting freedoms? Not so much. I’ve tried. Doesn’t stack up IMO.
Then May/No10 over reads what she gets told in bilaterals (where she is wooden and hopeless) and takes what one EU dip from big EU state said to me were “mere generalities, pleasantries” about “wanting a deal” for a willingness to cross major red lines. Salzburg says not.
Sep 13, 2018 • 25 tweets • 6 min read
The Salzburg summit looms, Raab plays to home crowd over the #Brexit bill, everyone 'wants' a deal ...but yet no-one can explain what it will look like.
So what is happening with #Brexit? Some thoughts after chats with both sides. 1/Thread
Raab talks about "good progress" but actually talks are at a standstill. He bounces around looking all perky and boxerly, but there's isn't much to say. On the tough stuff anyway. /2
Sep 10, 2018 • 13 tweets • 10 min read
So today, and all this week, @Telegraph is publishing a piece on the 'Future of Europe'.
First up, it's not a bashing exercise. It's a serious look at where the EU finds itself as one its largest members departs.
A fulcrum moment... 1/thread
telegraph.co.uk/news/2018/09/1…@Telegraph I'm first up, reporting from the conservative heartlands of Poland (Kobylin-borzymy) and asking what the EU does about the newly assertive eastern states, who are not homogenising as everyone assumed...turns out history is not dead. /2
Sep 7, 2018 • 5 tweets • 2 min read
Sir Ivan Rogers has made another substantial intervention into the #Brexit debate.
And he makes a very clever argument as to why EU should compromise over Ireland border/Future Relationship. Though frets that it this is not the likely course. 1/Thread theguardian.com/politics/2018/…
He starts be warning we are at risk "sleepwalking" to disaster as both sides talk past each other. /2
No-one like's @theresa_may nifty dual tariff customs fix. Not the Brexiteers. Not the EU. Not Business.
So she can do Chequers 2.0. Make concessions and try to sell in Westminister against 'no deal' chaos late in the day. /2
Aug 30, 2018 • 18 tweets • 5 min read
Some very breathless reporting/reading of @MichelBarnier remarks y'day. So what is happening on #Brexit? Some thoughts on talking with both sides. 1/Thread
@MichelBarnier First Barnier. To be clear, it was absolutely orthodox. We respect UK red lines, but within those limits will give UK broadest ever FTA and Association Agreement. It's EXACTLY what he said on Aug 2 OpEd: "unprecedented in scope and depth." /2
The #Brexit crunch is coming, so after the summer break I've written a piece looking at the 10 questions we should be looking at....but are too busy shouting at each other to consider. Here are my ten... /1
@MichelBarnier@theresa_may First the isolation point. Doth M. Barnier protest too much? What need this OpEd now? The mandate is the mandate, after all, so why the need to restate these positions while everyone is on holiday?
Not to be over-stated, but.... /2
Jul 25, 2018 • 22 tweets • 8 min read
Olly Robbins is in Brussels today for more #Brexit talks.
Top of the agenda is the 'insoluble' Irish backstop issue - but how 'insoluble' it really? Is there a way through?
Maybe. Some thoughts after chats with both sides. 1/Thread
As @borisjohnson quits the Chequers strategy is now holed below the waterline.
It required Brexiteers to willfully buy into fiction that May's mad customs plan was deliverable, even at a later date.
That has now failed. 1/@BorisJohnson The basic plan - as @DavidDavisMP and @BorisJohnson identified - was to get the EU to buy the Chequers idea with a nod and a wink, knowing full well that massive concessions were coming down the line.
On money, on the level-playing field, on regulatory alignment. But.../2
Jul 6, 2018 • 9 tweets • 3 min read
may have appeared to pull his punches today, but don't be fooled. He stuck firmly to EU guns.
This is a key word "de-dramatise" and you'll hear it a lot more - and it is not good news for Mrs May. Here's why /1
If EU sticks to guns on cherry-picking, then that leaves UK with basic FTA...and that means an Irish sea goods border.
When Barnier says "de-dramatise" he means May and Davis need to give over on their contention that such a border is a threat to UK constitutional integrity /2
Jul 5, 2018 • 15 tweets • 3 min read
This week I wrote 2,000 words explaining why the EU will "shoot down" May's 'third way'...
And this morning a column on why they shouldn't do it. /1
We keep saying both sides needs to find a space between Canada Dry and Norway plus, but at risk of stating the obvious, that is easier said than done.
Hard battle lines are being drawn up in the Commission. Exasperation levels are reaching danger levels. /2
Jul 2, 2018 • 10 tweets • 3 min read
The 'third way' is now the new thing in the #Brexit debate. Like No.10 suddenly discovered something last weekend after two years of trying.
So here's a long read on why there are no magic bullets to fix the customs conundrum - my latest
On the upside, a 'third way' carries implicit acknowledgement that the first two ways (the MaxFax and the New Customs Partnership) cannot solve the need for a border in the Irish Sea, if May wants to leave Customs Union and Single Market.